– The Geographical Indication Act 2003, in effect since April 28, 2004.
Membership in International Conventions
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since December 25, 1989.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since January 1, 1995.
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since August 2, 2008.
Definition: “Geographical Indications” means a name, symbol, or any other thing used to refer to, or in lieu of, a geographical origin, and which indicates that the goods originated in the said geographical origin are of the quality, reputation, or specific characteristics of the said geographical origin.
Filing Office: a Geographical Indication Office, established to take care of the registration of GIs, is under the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP).
Applicant: a government agency, state work unit, government enterprise, local government, or other state organization with juristic status in the geographic origin of goods used with the geographical indication; an ordinary person, a group of persons, or juristic person whose business is in goods used with the geographical indication and domiciled in the geographic origin of such goods; and/or a consumer group or consumer organization for goods used with the geographical indication.
Foreign applicant: any person who is not a Thai national wishing to apply for registration of a foreign geographical indication in Thailand must possess one of the following qualifications: (1) he/she must be a national of a country which is a party to an international convention or treaty for the protection of geographical indications to which Thailand is also a party; and (2) he/she must be domiciled or have an actual operating business enterprise in Thailand or a country which is a party to an international convention or treaty.
Criteria for registration: to receive protection under the Act, a geographical indication must be registered with the DIP. A geographical indication of a foreign country, which will be protected under the Act, must clearly show that it is a geographical indication protected under the laws of that country and continuously used until the date of application for registration in Thailand.
Not registrable: a generic name for goods used with such geographical indication; or a geographical indication which would be contrary to peace and order, good public morals, or national policy.
Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. A notarized power of attorney;
2. A photograph of the products under the applied geographical indication;
3. An original, copy or photograph of a package of the product using the applied geographical indication;
4. A document describing the quality, reputation and other characteristics of the product;
5. A document describing the relationship of the product and geographical environment/circumstances or geographical origin;
6. A copy or photograph of a map showing the boundary or landscape of the applied geographical indication;
7. A letter confirming that the product actually comes from the applied geographical indications;
8. A copy of the Certificate of Geographical Indications Registration in its home country.
Examination and Protection
Examination procedure: an application to register a geographical indication must be filed with the DIP and must contain details relating to the quality, reputation, or any characteristic of the said goods, geographical origin and other details prescribed in the Ministerial Regulations. If an application for registration is not in accordance with the rules prescribed under the Act, the Registrar of the DIP will order dismissal of the application.
Appeal: the applicant is entitled to appeal to the Board of Geographical Indications within ninety days from receipt of the order. When the Board has ruled and if the applicant is not satisfied with the decision, he is entitled to appeal to the Intellectual Property and International Trade (IP&IT) Court within ninety days from receipt of such decision. If legal proceedings are not instituted within the said period, the decision of the Board is final.
Publication: if the application is in accordance with the rules prescribed under the Act and the Registrar is of the opinion that the geographical indication is registrable, either with or without conditions, he will order the publication of acceptance for registration for opposition purposes.
Opposition: within ninety days after the publication date, any interested person may lodge an objection against the registration of the geographical indication. The applicant shall file a counter-statement within ninety days from the date of receipt of the objection, failing which the application shall be deemed abandoned. After the Registrar has issued a ruling, a notice of the order will be sent to both the applicant and the objector. Both parties are entitled to appeal to the Board against the Registrar’s order within ninety days from the date of receipt of the order. When the Board has made a decision and either party is dissatisfied with the decision, they are entitled to appeal to the IP&IT Court within ninety days from receipt of the decision. If legal proceedings are not instituted within the said period, the Board’s decision is final.
Beginning and duration of protection: effective from the filing date of the application for registration and valid as long as it is not cancelled.
Renewal: not required.